Today is International Day of the Midwife. During my travels in Pakistan, photographing the stories I did on maternal health issues, midwifes and midwifery students have been central figures. So I wanted to honor them today by posting some portraits of midwifery students from Karachi.
Farheen, in the picture above, is 23 years old, and hopes to one day open her own clinic. ‘Not just to make money but to help needy women that now often are handled by a dai (traditional midwife) and suffer complications because they don’t get the skilled help they need.’
(In the picture from left to right) Kishwar Jahen, 22 years old, didn’t dream to become a midwife but her sister chose this profession for her, thinking it would be a good way to support her family. By now she is motivated and wants to help women deliver safely.
For Naseem Ramzan, 20 years old, it’s a natural choice to become a midwife, with both her sister and her cousins being midwifes. She’s motivated to help reduce the problems for mothers in Pakistan.
Azra Yecoob, 23 years old, was always interested in the medical field and wants to see how she can help do her part to reduce maternal mortality.
Kulsoom Mustafa, 26 years old, wants to become a midwife and serve the poor and helpless people in her community who are scared of government hospitals and can’t afford treatment in expensive private hospitals. She’s motivated to learn and get as skilled as possible: ‘If Allah gives me the chance, and I hope Allah gives me, I want to go abroad and get further studies.’